Jahurul and Ashraful find form for Bangladesh
Bangladeshis 372 for 6 (Jahurul 159, Ashraful 89) lead Surrey XI 318 for 7 (Spriegel 108*, Meaker 94) by 54 runs
When it comes to their respective heights, about a foot or so separates Bangladeshi batsmen Mohammad Ashraful and Jahurul Islam, yet in terms of Test experience the two stylish right-handers remain poles apart.
The diminutive Ashraful, the Tigers' Test captain until last year, is his nation's most capped player with 53 Test appearances to his name, while the taller, willowy Jahurul, only made his Test bow in March, scoring 0 and 43 in the nine-wicket defeat by England at Mirpur.
But, when it came to run-scoring during their tour opener against Surrey at a bitterly cold Oval on Monday, it was the 23-year-old Jahurul who shaded the issue with an excellent 159 compared to Ashraful's more measured 89 during a second-wicket stand worth 194 in 46 overs.
In pursuit of Surrey's first day total of 318 for 7 declared, the little and large partners filled their boots on a placid pitch and against a hugely inexperienced Surrey attack to lead their side to 372 for 6 and an overall lead of 54 going into the final day of this three-day friendly.
The duo came together with their side on 49 following the loss of Imrul Kayes (16) in the 14th over of the morning and, after enjoying a slice of early luck, went on to dominate proceedings for the best part of two sessions. Kayes, shuffling across his stumps in aiming to work a straight one from Laurie Evans through midwicket, was bowled around his legs and shuffled off toward the dressing room with leg stump pegged back having gifted Evans a maiden first-class wicket.
Against a rookie Surrey attack and a host team with an average age of only 23, the visitors re-grouped painstakingly through Ashraful and Jahurul, who is only in the side due to the extended absence of Bangladesh's star batsman, Tamim Iqbal.
The 21-year-old Tamim fractured his left wrist during the tail end of 2009 and exacerbated the injury last month, curtailing his World Twenty20 campaign to a single appearance against Pakistan.
Bangladesh physiotherapist Michael Henry confirmed Tamim would be seeing a London-based specialist on Wednesday, only then will the tourists know if their crowd-pleasing left-hander will stand a chance of playing in the first Test at Lord's at the end of the month.
If he fails to recover in time, Jahurul made sure he will be seen as 'next cab on the rank' with his studious career-best at The Oval. His half-century took nigh on two hours and included nine fours, yet there were no signs of the nervous nineties as he moved into three figures in the space of two deliveries.
A sweetly-timed cover drive against spinner Matt Spriegel bashed into the picket fence to take him to 98 then, to the next delivery, he danced down the wicket and deposited a flighted one over long on for the second six of his 158-ball hundred.
Ashraful looked destined to join him in three figures until, seven overs before tea, he shouldered arms at a Tom Jewell off-cutter that plucked out off stump and sent him packing for 89.
Jahurul surged past his previous career-best of 139 on the way to 158 from 256 balls before his five-hour stay came to a surprise end when he was dismissed by Simon King in only his third first-team appearance for Surrey. Dancing down the pitch trying to deposit one from the offspinner into the OCS Stand, Islam miscued into the hands of Chris Schofield to go with his side only two runs short of first innings parity.
Mushfiqur Rahim (52) sliced a drive to cover to be caught overhead, Mahmudullah Riyad (27) pulled loosely to deep midwicket and Naeem Islam (0) chopped the final ball of the day onto his off stump to give seamer Matt Dunn somewhat flattering figures of 3 for 48.
Mark Pennell is the managing director of freelance reporting and public relations agency Kent & Sussex Sport